Monday, June 30, 2008

CM PRESS # 410


TERROR IN BARRIO WESTSIDE

Once again, here's the link to the OC REGISTER article about the suspect who attempted to rape a 15-year-old girl in Barrio Westside near Rea School last week. LINK

He is described as Latino, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with a medium build, short, spiky hair and clean shaven.

Our guess: The guy may be using or be attracted to the illegal alien charities at Rea School that are acting as a magnet for a criminal element in that neighborhood.

Come on City Council, clean up that neighborhood. Tell the NMUSD that the purpose of a school campus is for a school, and that's what the city has permitted there, not a bunch of illegal alien charities.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CM PRESS # 409


ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT FOR THE WESTSIDE THAT FOLEY DOESN'T LIKE

At it's regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday (7/1), the City Council will hear an appeal by Return to Reason--keep the Westside as slum central-Katrina Foley of a Planning Commission approval for the development of a seven unit condominium project to be built at 616 Center Street and 613 Plummer Street on the Westside. MAP1 MAP2 LINK


THE CM PRESS POSITION--BUILD SEVEN!

When Improvers first started organizing, we realized that the key to improving all of Costa Mesa is the Westside.

We also realized that, for a number of reasons, the City would have to be very flexible and creative in allowing new developments on the Westside or there would be no new developments.

This present proposal, for a project that is a little denser than some would like, is one of the things we expected would happen and which we believe should be allowed.

Some of those who oppose letting this project go forward are also some of the same people who oppose any use of eminent domain on the Westside to put together a number of lots for larger developments that would improve the area.

So, if eminent domain can't be used to put together lots for a proper development and if developers can't make a profit by going a little denser, just what do those such as Foley suggest as a way to improve the Westside? More flowers in the middle of W. 19th Street? More pot holes being fixed?

Developers aren't in it to hug and kiss and sing kumbaya. They want to make a profit. They need to make a profit.

If developers can't make a profit on the Westside, they simply won't build on the Westside and the area will continue to stagnate.

We need to get heavy handed politicians out of the way of progress and let developers make a profit even if they come up with something that may bend the rules a little.

Density, per se, is not necessarily bad--it depends on the development itself--and this development looks pretty good.

Hopefully, the full City Council won't listen to Foley and will allow the Planning Commission's decision to stand.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Friday, June 27, 2008

CM PRESS # 408



















IS THERE AN EDITOR IN THE HOUSE?


We read this article in the almost-daily Daily Pilot today several times (LINK) trying to discover just which branch of the service retired Major General Rick Olson served in.

Unfortunately, the almost-daily Daily Pilot didn't include that information.

So, we went to the World Affairs Council of Orange County's Web site (LINK) and learned, way down in the fourth paragraph, that the guy had been in the U.S. Army before doing this PR crap for an unnecessary war and a failed administration.

Awww geez, maybe we should have just stopped right there.

From the World Affairs Council of Orange County's Web site we also learned that Olson lives with his wife and his dog, Sunny, in Hawaii. Now, that's really essential information. Yeah, we know, it was put in to humanize the guy, but come on....(Hmmm, could Sunny be related to Checkers?)

"Ahhhhhh," say the cackling blue haired ladies with shiny eyes in the last row as they nudge one another, "isn't that sweet? He has a dog named Sunny. We can sure trust what he has to say."

Oh, good grief! What the hell was this, a PTA cookie sale?

Olson apparently told the audience about the $ 40 billion dollars spent so far in trying to rebuild Iraq and why U.S. taxpayers should support this waste of their tax dollars.

We wonder how many people in the audience were even bright enough to realize that this money should be used right here in the U.S.

"Hello...Stepford People! Iraq was never a problem. There never were weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had nothing to do with 911. Is there anyone out there?"

Rising gas and food prices, a failing economy, a housing depression, a deindustrialized U.S., massive illegal immigration, a Republican Party (and we're registered Republicans here at the CM PRESS) that is so out of touch that it is on the verge of losing in the national elections like it has never lost before, and people are sitting around listening to a PR pitch about rebuilding Iraq from a retired general who lives with his wife and dog, Sunny, in Hawaii?

Of course, it's probably better to get the PR Kool-Aid from a former general than what we see and hear from the administration's usual shills on TV and radio who will often interview an 18-year-old private whose military job may be to fill sand bags and who has seen no more of Iraq than a few yards of desert sand and who will say something like: "Yes Sir, I want the people back home to know that the mainstream press isn't telling the truth about Iraq and that things are sure better here now and the Iraqi people sure do love us for liberating them."

And, speaking of shiny eyes; on our TV screens we then see Sean Hannity (who was never in the military) telling us, after the clip from the private filling sand bags: "There you have it, the real truth about Iraq from someone who is there."

Frankly, we agree with Marine Major General Smedley Butler--who received two Medals of Honor--and whose book, WAR IS A RACKET, tells the truth about wars.

No doubt, if General Butler were alive today, he'd have some choice words about this Iraq mess and this goofy Bush administration and the lousy state of the nation.

The GOP has screwed things up so badly, that it almost makes one want to re-register Democrat--until one realizes that the Democrats aren't much different.

The U.S. needs to revise our political system so that third parties can actually have a chance of electing candidates. Then, we'd have a real choice.

The present system requires that both parties pander to the majority of people clustered under the center of the bell curve. That's where the votes are, and that's where it's easiest to manipulate public opinion with mental images of dogs named Sunny. "Ahhhhhhhh."

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BREAKING NEWS FROM THE ALMOST-DAILY DAILY PILOT

According to the almost-daily Daily Pilot (a Return to Reason newspaper), the CMPD is looking for a man in his 20s wearing a hooded sweatshirt who tried to assault a 15-year-old girl near Rea School (You may recall that Rea School is chock full of charities, including one that claims it is helping stop crime, even though the site has as many police calls as a gin joint.) LINK

So, if you see a man in his 20s wearing a hooded sweatshirt, be sure to call the CMPD.

Now, dear readers, what do we know about a suspect when the almost-daily Daily Pilot only tells us his age and what he was wearing? Right. You can assume the rest.

Hey, CPMD, the first place where you should look for the suspect is with the charities that are in Rea School. You may find him there getting tax payer benefits.

Say, did we mention that the Newport Mesa Unified School District is essentially giving away free rent to the charities that are clustered in Rea School, and that there is now even a free clinic on that school site? It's becoming a one stop illegal alien center. Thank you NMUSD for helping screw up Costa Mesa so much.

How about taking these charities and stuffing them, ah, how about putting them in a school in Corona del Mar?

UPDATE TO THE ABOVE STORY 3:15 pm, Friday, 6/27/08:

The almost-daily Daily Pilot has now published a sketch of the attacker. But the sketch is not clear. Is he Black? Is he Latino? Maybe Pacific Islander? LINK

Never fear, the OC REGISTER also ran the story and sketch and that paper describes the perp as Latino. LINK

A proper description of an outstanding suspect can help apprehend him.

If you think you know who this guy is, call the CMPD at (714) 754-5252 and leave your tip.

You don't have to identify yourself even though the operator will try to get you to leave your name. Also, FYI, when you call that number, you're not actually calling the CMPD, but the call center staffed by civilians who handle both police and fire calls.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.



Thursday, June 26, 2008

CM PRESS # 407















HEY NEWPORT, LET'S THINK CREATIVELY


(Photo of a brackish small marina with beach in Massachusetts that might be what a similar combination in Costa Mesa/Newport Beach might look like. Small sandy beach is just out of frame.)


Newport Beach is having a problem in raising money to dredge the harbor in that city. LINK

Well, how about working a deal with Costa Mesa? Maybe our city can help you with your harbor and you can help us with developing a marina and pocket beach(s) along the side of Banning Ranch that would be jointly owned by the two cities?

All the CM PRESS is suggesting is that we be given a small window, a mere corridor, a tiny alley, a minuscule channel, a puny rivulet to the sea so that Costa Mesa can connect up to that vast Pacific Ocean that we can see, but can't touch. Is this asking too much? Must Costa Mesa always be cut off from the sea?

We just want the ocean and the Santa Ana River to be able to meet and pool in an area near Victoria Street as a sort of tiny inland sea but with a channel leading to the ocean.

Hell, we'll even truck in our own sand for any tiny beaches we can develop below the Westside Bluffs.

We know of such beaches/marinas with the same brackish water that exist in other states and they're popular with the citizens.

Now, we're not talking about a large plastic marina, but a small natural one similar to what you see in the photo above.

We've seen the plans both for homes on Banning Ranch and the competing plans to keep it without homes. (See the two links on the upper right side of this page)

Frankly, neither plan does much for us. Not only do both plans look very contrived and plastic to us, they both seem to forget that our greatest natural asset is the Pacific Ocean that is within a stone's throw of the Banning Ranch property.

Why build a housing development next to the ocean that looks like similar developments thousands of miles away from the ocean?

Or, alternatively, why propose a "natural" park that looks like a miniature golf course?

Call us Frogpondians, if you will, but can't we have a natural area around here that is not overly manicured, and can't we use our closeness to the ocean as an asset instead of turning our backs on it and pretending it's not there?

Must every blade of grass be of uniform height? Must we rip out the natural plants that have been sown by the wind and replace them with plants that can't exist along our Bluffs except with superhuman effort and taxpayer money?

Just dredge a channel up to Victoria Street and let water seek its own level.
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PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION UPDATE


The Parks and Recreation Commission didn't hear the matter about park designations last night as previously reported it would in CM PRESS # 406, but moved it forward to a future meeting.

Apparently, the CMPD wanted to discuss changes in some of the language relating to our park ordinances before the matter is heard by the Commission.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

CM PRESS # 405












WESTSIDE BLUFFS TO GET $ 45 MILLION DOLLAR CONDO/APARTMENT COMPLEX

(stock photo of NEXUS's Twin Towers at MacArthur Place)

WESTSIDE BLUFFS--On a 4 to 1 vote last night, with Commissioner Eleanor Egan voting against the project, the Planning Commission approved a request from Nexus Development to be allowed to initially offer it's proposed 151 condos at 1640 Monrovia as rentals instead of as owner-occupied condos.

The CM PRESS supported this request by Nexus. (See CM PRESS # 404)

While we would prefer owner occupied condos, we believe, given current market conditions, the only way the City is going to start the evolution of the Bluffs is by being flexible and sensitive to reasonable developer requests.

And, in this case, this change was necessary in order to obtain financing to build the project.


The Westside Bluffs need people living there 24 hours a day, and this project will accomplish that.

In addition, this project, at least on paper, looks like an upscale apartment/condo complex that you might find in Newport Beach. This is not a slum aborning, and it should attract upwardly mobile professionals.

The beach is just a quick jog or bike ride down the hill, and this project should offer a slightly less expensive alternative to those who like the beach lifestyle but who don't want to pay beach prices or endure beach traffic.

When market conditions improve, NEXUS indicates that the firm will try to sell the units as condos. This should be a relatively easy proposition since this is really a dual identity project, built to higher condo standards and with all the condo paperwork in place.


If all goes according to plan, this seminal project on the Westside Bluffs should be ready for occupancy in approximately 3 years.

Here's a LINK to NEXUS.

Commissioner Egan, who lives on the Westside Bluffs, said that she was against the change because 80% of residential units on the Westside are now occupied by renters.

As of press time we have not been able to verify Ms. Egan's statistic, but we have no reason to doubt it. Nevertheless, we think the argument is misplaced. The too many renters argument is better directed at the barracks style slum apartment complexes that are breeding grounds for gangs and crime and which the City should be, but isn't, thinning out. (See following article about yet another violent crime in one such complex) [*SEE UPDATE BELOW ON STATISTICS]

Among those in the public speaking against the request were John Hawley who owns Railmakers, Inc., a business on the Bluffs, Roger MacGregor who owns MacGregor Yachts, and Mike Harrison a principal in Trico Realty, a major industrial property owner on the Bluffs.

Mssrs. Hawley, MacGregor and Harrison essentially made the same argument: Condos would be okay, but not apartments.

Mr. Hawley and Mr. Harrison were supporters of failed Return to Reason candidates Mike Scheafer and Bruce Garlic in the last City Council election.

Mr. Garlic, it may be remembered, in answer to a question from the CM PRESS, famously told an audience at the Senior Center that there was no pollution on the Westside Bluffs.

Contrary to Mr. Garlic's opinion, there is pollution on the Westside Bluffs and at last night's meeting, representatives from NEXUS Development indicated that one of the first things they'll be doing with their 6.8 acre property is cleaning up the contaminated soil pursuant to their agreement with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. This may begin within the next four to six months.

Also speaking against the project were a few people who live in a nearby mobile home park who felt that this $45 million dollar project would negatively impact their mobile home park. (?)
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MORE ILLEGAL ALIEN CRIME IN KATRINA FOLEY'S MESA DEL MAR BARRIO

Ms. Foley's kumbaya flowers in front of the slum buildings apparently aren't working to stem crime. Maybe more flowers or hugs will help.

Or...hey, how about thinning out the slums instead of planting flowers in front of them?

LINK to almost daily Daily Pilot report on this latest incident.
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BABY AND TEEN INSIDE HOME INJURED BY GANG GUNFIRE OUTSIDE

Here's a crime report from Santa Ana about a 14-year-0ld girl and a 5-month-old infant who were injured when stray bullets from a gun battle in the street pierced the wall of their house. LINK

It's just a matter of time before innocent people are injured in their homes near Katrina Foley's Mesa del Mar Barrio or Shalimar, or Fillmore-Coolidge, or similar slums in Costa Mesa.

So long as the City of Costa Mesa does nothing to thin out these slums, innocent people will be in danger.

Should we now start having our children sleep in bathtubs to protect them from stray bullets?

A handgun bullet can travel anywhere from 1 to about 1 1/2 miles.

Come on City Council, do something now before innocent people are harmed. Thin out the slums.
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UPDATE
*Here's where Commissioner Egan got her statistics about renter vs. owner occupied units. This is from page 4 of the MESA WEST RESIDENTIAL OWNERSHIP URBAN PLAN:

LINK

"Renter Versus Owner-Occupied Units
Costa Mesa has a disproportionate number of rental versus owner-occupied units compared to countywide and national statistics. According to the 2000 U.S. Federal Census, the number of rental units in Costa Mesa is about 60 percent while the number of owner-occupied units is around 40 percent. In contrast, the countywide average is approximately 39 percent renter-occupied units and about 61 percent owner-occupied units. The national average is approximately 34 percent renter-occupied units and about 66 percent owner-occupied units.
In the Mesa West Residential Ownership Urban Plan area, the percentage of renter versus owner-occupied units greatly increases. According to the 2000 U.S., approximately 81% of the units are being rented compared to about 19% listed as owner-occupied. This shows a rental versus ownership ratio of about 4 to 1 in the overlay zone area."

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

CM PRESS # 404


CONDOS PROPOSED FOR WESTSIDE MAY BE CHANGED TO APARTMENTS


At tonight's (6/23) no-Planning Commission Meeting, Nexus Development will ask that the firm's proposed 6.82 acre ground-up project for 151 condos to be built at 1640 Monrovia Ave. (roughly behind MacGregor Yachts on Placentia) be allowed to be built and sold as apartments instead of as condos.


The CM PRESS position:

We prefer owner occupied condos to apartments to reverse our upside down renter to owner occupied statistics in Costa Mesa, but since these units will be built in condo style, and may be switched to condos when real estate market conditions improve, this may be a necessary change to help bring in the evolution of the Westside Bluffs to their highest and best uses.


We simply have to have more people living on the Bluffs.


Thus, we support the change, possibly with some agreements from the developer that construction will start soon.


Here's the LINK.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

CM PRESS # 403


NEWSPAPER AD REVENUES WAY DOWN--RED INK FLOOD--INTERNET NEWSPAPER VERSIONS NOT CARRYING THE LOAD--WHAT WILL SAM ZELL DO?

Sam Zell owns the Tribune Company which owns the LA TIMES which owns the almost-daily Daily Pilot.

Local content is the way to black, but the local content has to be what the local market wants.

Presenting liberal views in a conservative area is like trying to sell tofu in a butcher shop.

LINK to a Bloomberg article about this.
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Thanks for reading the CM PRESS.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

CM PRESS # 402


RICO BEING USED AGAINST SLUMLORDS WHO PACK THEIR SLUM BUILDINGS WITH ILLEGAL ALIENS

Here's the LINK to the story.


Although this story is from New Jersey, many of the same things could be said about what's happening in Costa Mesa, i.e. that slumlords have packed so many illegal aliens into some of their sardine can buildings that it may constitute harboring.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Friday, June 20, 2008

CM PRESS # 401


GOOD NEWS FOR THE FOLKS ON THE NORTHERN WESTSIDE


Many of the Westsiders who live in Freedom Homes and in other areas along Victoria Street west of Placentia, used to shop at the Ralphs Supermarket on Brookhurst and Hamilton in Huntington Beach (Victoria Street becomes Hamilton Avenue in Huntington Beach), and were upset when the Ralphs closed more than a year ago.


Now, a 15,000 s.f. Trader Joe's is on tap to take over the former Ralphs location.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

CM PRESS # 400


AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Here's a LINK to a good article in the almost-daily Daily Pilot about affordable housing in Newport Beach.

The reason this is worth reading by Costa Mesans is that it may help explain to citizens of our city what the CM PRESS has been complaining about in the way our City Council has handled the issue.

In brief, here's our complaint:

Cities are required by the state to provide a certain amount of affordable housing.

When developers come in with major projects, such as has happened in South Coast Metro, responsible and intelligent City Councils ensure that the developers supply their fair share of affordable housing.

What did the Costa Mesa City Council do?

It stupidly told the developers in South Coast Metro that they could put in more than a thousand units without providing any affordable housing, either on that site or by contributing to a fund that could be used to provide such affordable housing elsewhere in the city.

So, because of the massive developments that are going to be built in South Coast Metro, the City of Costa Mesa's requirement for more affordable housing will be increased by the state.

Meanwhile, those who are responsible for making our requirement go up (the developers) won't have to help supply such housing!

As you know, the CM PRESS has constantly called for the removal of slum buildings in the city that are breeding grounds for gangs and crime.

However, many of these slum buildings are helping meet our state mandated requirement for affordable housing. If they are removed, we'll be even further in the hole.

Had the City Council been half bright and responsible and required that developers supply their fair share of affordable housing, we might be able to remove some of these slum buildings.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CM PRESS # 399

B R E A K I N G N E W S

Wed. 6/18--3:47 pm--BICYCLIST APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN HIT BY A CAR ON ADAMS AVENUE WEST OF HARBOR AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE LDS CHURCH.

INFORMATION IS SKETCHY AND POLICE HAVE NOT YET ARRIVED. DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A FATALITY.
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Thanks for reading the CM PRESS


CM PRESS # 398


BANNING RANCH

Here's a LINK to an article in the OC REGISTER about Banning Ranch.

We've also put permanent pro and con links on the right of this page.
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Thanks for reading the CM PRESS.

CM PRESS # 397





REPORT FROM CITY COUNCIL MEETING OF 6/17/2008
Why does one city prosper and have great schools, low crime and a high quality of life while another nearby city goes in just the opposite direction?


It comes down to leadership.


You need good leadership in private industry and you need it in government.

Speaking of poor or no leadership, the Costa Mesa City Council pretty much rubber stamped the budget as proposed last night. This means more money to hire more cops and more money to repave some streets.

Ho hum.

Why do we need more cops? Because we have more crime and more gangs. And, next year we'll need even more cops, because we'll have more gangs and more crime. And, the year after that we'll need more cops....

And, what about our failing schools?


Why do we have more crime and more gangs and why do we have failing schools?


The answer is that successive do-nothing City Councils have not done the things to truly improve our city in important ways and our city has become a welcoming habitat for illegal aliens, criminals and gang bangers.

Right now, we don't seem to have any real leaders on the City Council.
Instead, we have five clerical employees who do a good job of signing whatever is put in front of them, but who don't seem capable of seeing the big picture and proposing things to quickly get our city back on track.

The nature of our local government and the part that should be played by the City Council shouldn't be difficult to understand, even for Councilmembers.

Costa Mesa has a line and staff organization.

The "line" is our City Council. The Councilmembers are supposed to be the generals, the leaders, the visionaries, the big thinkers. They initiate.

The "staff" are all the employees of the city. They are supposed to be the privates and sergeants who carry out the orders of the line. They implement.

Unfortunately, staff seems to be leading the City Council. This is because the Council has created a leadership vacuum and staff is filling it.

Let me put this in other terms.

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy told the nation:

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

That's the type of leadership we need in Costa Mesa. We need a politician who will say:

"I believe that this city should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of ridding our city of functionally obsolete sardine can apartment complexes that are the breeding grounds and safe havens for gangs and that we should work with the private sector to build modern affordable housing distributed around the city instead of being overly concentrated in various neighborhoods."

Foley doesn't get it
After the CM PRESS suggested to the Council that the budget should be prioritized so the City can buy up slum apartment buildings one here and one there and either put in some pocket parks or use them for senior housing, Councilmember Foley said that she doesn't support eminent domain.

Sigh!

The CM PRESS hadn't suggested eminent domain. Our suggestion was to have the City buy properties on the open market the way any investor would buy them. The difference is that the City would then raze the properties it owns instead of stuffing them with twelve illegal aliens per bedroom.

In other words, the City should thin out the slums using free market principles. Over time, as slum neighborhoods are thinned out, the problems associated with these over crowded neighborhoods will disappear.

Removing a building here and there will reduce the critical mass needed to maintain gangs and a viable criminal element concentrated in various neighborhoods.


There is even a precedent for this in Costa Mesa. Several years ago, the City bought a slum building in Shalimar, tore it down and put in a pocket park.


All the CM PRESS is saying is that the City should continue with that Shalimar precedent.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CM PRESS # 396

THE RATLAND CHRONICLES

(THE RATLAND CHRONICLES is a movie you never got to see, because it's a movie script that didn't make it to the big screen, at least not as I wrote it--but you may have seen bits and pieces of it. Well, it's possible. Then again, maybe there's just nothing new under the sun. Or perhaps we just all drink from the same well.)

Int. American Zoetrope Studios. Old factory. Exposed red brick walls. Camera pans left and right.--

I'm sitting in the reception area of American Zoetrope next to the pool table and the receptionist tells me that Francis will see me now.

I walk in to the inner office and Francis Coppola is sitting behind a desk or table (I don't remember exactly), and sitting a little to his left and behind him is a nerdy looking guy with glasses who I figured worked for him.

The actual words spoken have long been forgotten, but this is the gist of it as I remember it.

Coppola: You have a film proposal and a script?

Me: Yeah. I call it the Ratland Chronicles. It's a trilogy.

I wrote it as a trilogy so we can do the first film on a shoestring and if it does okay, it'll be easier to raise money for the other two. No union anything. The first one is called RAGNAROK--it means apocalypse. I was thinking of me as the lead.

Coppola: Give me some of the highlights.

Me: (talking fast and jumping around in my narrative lest I bore him) Well it takes place after the U.S. is destroyed in a nuclear war and the whole country is now bizarre. And it's about a small group of people who travel across the country looking for civilization.

It opens with a dark screen, and then we hear just a few notes of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, but it's been changed a little--the tempo is much slower. I rewrote it a little and I've eliminated some of Wagner's flitty wind sounds and put in some heavy kettledrums and made the whole thing darker and more ominous.

Then, after the titles on the black screen, the music gets a little louder and more notes are played. Suddenly, a big angry, reddish and hot sun rises from the bottom of the screen. We can almost feel the heat coming off it. As it rises, we see in the foreground, and in the middle of the rising sun, the main character, played by me, standing on his head.

Coppola: On his head?

Me: Yeah, well, it sets the stage for what follows in this bizarre new world.

Anyway, as the story unfolds, the main character, ahem, played by me, comes across a couple of trash picking dwarfs named Tick and Tock who live down in tunnels underneath this cow barn. The tunnels are connected up to storm channels and sewer lines and this is how they get around without being killed by the roving bands of bad guys.

I'm thinking, maybe, Billy Barty as one of the dwarfs. I saw him at a SAG meeting and he was complaining that there aren't enough roles for little people. Anyway, the two dwarfs have all sorts of Rube Goldberg machinery made out of scavenged things, including a VW Bus that runs off cow manure that they have in a trailer that they pull behind the bus.

The main characters travel across the country in this bus. That's where all the adventures take place.

Coppola: Well, leave the script with me. I'll give you a call.

FAST FORWARD 1:

Int. Nighttime--Man, me, staring at telephone that does not ring.(Minutes have turned into hours, hours into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and I'm still waiting for that phone call. Hey, a big director wouldn't say he'd call and never actually call, right? Probably lost my phone number. Probably pulling his hair out wondering how he can get in touch with me.)

One day, I hear that Coppola has a new film out called Apocalypse Now, so I go to see it.

Hmmmm (my eyes get all squinty at this point), some of it seems familiar to me. Not major things, just some of the stuff around the edges. There's even a Martin standing on his head-- Martin Friggin' Sheen, not Martin Friggin' Millard. And, what music do I hear? Wagner's Friggin' Ride of the Valkyries (but it wasn't improved as I was going to do it, Hah!). And, instead of a post apocalyptic world and people travelling in a VW bus, it has a group travelling up a river in a boat in Vietnam.

FAST FORWARD 2:

Int. Commercial Airliner:
I'm flying into Burbank for some movie type of thing or other, and I hear a guy sitting in the seat directly behind me saying to someone sitting next to him: "Well, in that film, Francis didn't really do much. That was mostly my...." I turn around and look directly into the eyes of that nerdy guy from Coppola's office again. This time I recognize him, George Lucas.

FAST FORWARD 3:

Ext. Daytime. OC.--Line of people going in to movie theater to see Star Wars. I go in. There I see these little trash picking dwarfs. I wonder if one of them is Billy Barty.

FAST FORWARD 4:

Ext. Daytime OC--I hear that Coppola's nephew, Nicholas Cage, bought John Wayne's old house in Newport. Years ago, I used to date a girl who lived a few doors away from that place. Hey, maybe I'll run into Cage in the market. Better keep my script handy. You never know.

Maybe I can give him my phone number to give to his uncle who has probably been losing sleep all these years because he lost it.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

CM PRESS # 395


TERROR IN BARRIO WESTSIDE
Upwardly mobile families of citizens are moving in and fixing up homes.


The Tan Klan, lefty creeps and slum profiteers are fearful that their dream of turning the Westside into a new Huntington Park is slipping away.


Costa Mesa's Westside is the best bargain in ocean close real estate in the State of California, and more and more people are realizing this.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

CM PRESS # 394















MORE GANG GRAFFITI IN MESA NORTH THIS MORNING

(Note: Photo may be too dark to see on some monitors. We'll try to fix later. Thanks for your patience)

[UPDATE: 11:10 AM--6/15/08--Installed a new monitor at CM PRESS CENTRAL and the above photo is perfect. If it's too dark to see, you may need a new monitor--as did we].

Don't forget, graffiti is just a symptom. Cover up the symptom and you still have the disease.

We will keep having such symptoms until we remove the comfortable habitat for gangs that prior City Councils have established in Costa Mesa and which the present City Council seems incapable of removing.

Instead of coming up with a budget that will allow the City to buy up slum buildings, one here and one there, and tearing them down for much needed park space, the City Council just keeps pumping money into hiring more cops, spending more money on removing graffiti, and doing similar work-arounds instead of meeting the problem head on.

How many gangs in Newport Beach, folks? Here's your answer: None, Zero, Zilch. How many slums in Newport Beach? Your answer: None, Zero, Zilch.

To repeat, here's what should be done: Remove slum buildings. That's about the simplest way we can state this.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Friday, June 13, 2008

CM PRESS # 393
















INTERESTING ITEM TO BE CONSIDERED AT THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL MEETING


At its regularly scheduled meeting on 6/17, the Costa Mesa City Council will consider a screening request to add a residential loft above an existing industrial unit at 872 W. 18th Street. LINK

The CM PRESS supports just about any attempt to put in living units of any type in the Westside industrial area.

We see this as the logical way to begin the evolution of the industrial area into a vibrant, slightly bohemian/artsy area of the city.

Even though the proposal in this screening request isn't specifically for an "artist's loft," but for a loft above an industrial/automotive unit, we think this is a step in the right direction for the Westside industrial area.

Thus, we support this proposal even though it may need some tweaking.

But, that's what screening requests are about. They're inexpensive ways for property owners to present their ideas to the Council before any real money is invested in formal blueprints and the like. The Council members then give their suggestions on the project.

It'll be interesting to look into the souls of the individual City Council members as they consider this request.

Will Linda Dixon, for example, try to throw cold water on this request because she is a big proponent for various artsy interests along Bristol Street, on the other side of town from the Westside, and may not want a rival to her favored interests?

Most urban artists colonies don't look like suburbs. They are generally a hodge podge of living units, industrial buildings, small stores, cafes, store front theaters and art galleries.

The viability of such areas requires that they not be over planned or be held to design standards that we would expect in single family residential neighborhoods.

Such areas are special cases and require a less anal-retentive and a more relaxed approval process.
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ANOTHER $48,000 OF YOUR TAX MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN

Also at the 6/17 City Council meeting, the Council is expected to renew the shopping cart pickup contract with a firm that picks up shopping carts and returns them to the stores that continue to snub Costa Mesa citizens by allowing customers to take the carts off site. LINK

A couple of merchants in the city are good neighbors. The 99 Cent Store on Harbor and Smart and Final on W. 19th Street both use carts that can't be removed from their parking lots.

So, why can't the Council lean on Stater Bros and some other merchants to have them do the same thing? Hmmmmmm? Why the hell are we paying so that Stater Bros et al. can provide a service to their customers and increase their profits?

It's as though some of these bad neighbor markets have signs reading: COME ON IN. BUY A CART FULL OF GROCERIES AND TAKE THE CART HOME WITH YOU. THEN, JUST LEAVE IT ON THE SIDEWALK AND THE CITIZENS OF COSTA MESA WILL PICK IT UP AND BRING IT BACK TO THE MARKET.
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UPDATE ON EL CAMINO CENTER

The buildings are all gone and the workers are now tearing up the parking lot. The question will now become: When will homes be built on this site? One year, two years, three years, more?
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CM PRESS # 392









BREAKING GANG NEWS


CMPD GANG ACTIVITY REPORT FOR FIRST QUARTER 2008

Gang Related Activity to date has resulted in:

ARRESTS

  • 35 arrests from Gang related directed enforcement patrols

CITATIONS

  • 82 from Gang related directed enforcement patrols

Field Interview Card

  • 57 of these were related to Gang affected area directed patrol

Gang STEP Notices *

  • 35
* A gang STEP notice is a Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention notice.

A STEP notice contains all the pertinent gang information to document a gang member. It also puts the individual gang member (in this case 35 gang members) on notice of his/their group's illegal activities and it allows law enforcement personnel to introduce the documentation of an individual as a gang member in court.
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Thank you for reading the CM PRESS.

CM PRESS # 391









GET READY FOR JOHN WAYNE TO GROW AND GROW AND GROW
(photo of Marine training)

Leonard Kranser has a column in the OC REGISTER today about the inevitable clash that is coming between those who want JWA to grow and those who want it to stay as small as possible. LINK


Although the Costa Mesa and Newport Beach city councils are trying to bring in other cities as allies in their stay-small approach, it's not going to work.

The reason: the only two cities that will really feel the full negative impacts of a larger JWA will be Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Most other city councils know this. Some may give lip service to keeping JWA small, but their hearts aren't really in it.


The argument for a larger JWA is that the few--the people in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach--will have to give way to the many--all the people in the rest of the county who want convenient air traffic.
The many will win, unless we get serious and demand that a new airport be built that can replace John Wayne.

The goofy alternatives of airports out in the desert to replace JWA aren't going to work, folks. And, the finger in the dike caps on flights won't work for long.

The pressure to expand is constant.
A true replacement for JWA is going to have to be on the coast; for the many reasons that we've previously written about.

And, to us, the logical location is on a tiny portion of Camp Pendleton.


Some have said to us that the Marines would never allow that to happen. Baloney. The Marines don't own that base. The citizens of the U.S. own it. If Congress decided that a new international airport should be built on a tiny portion of Camp Pendleton, it would happen.

Look, we have some knowledge of Marine training and base usage, having been in the Marines, and we're here to tell you that a very small northwest portion of Camp Pendleton could be turned into a major international airport--larger than LAX--and the Marines would not only not miss the land but would be able to offer protection to the airport while having a training opportunity for the types of urban conflicts that Marines are likely to find themselves increasingly involved in.

In addition, the Marines could use the new airport for quick deployment around the world. With a couple of commandeered jumbo jets you could land a thousand Marines anyplace in the world in a matter of a few hours.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

CM PRESS # 390


MORE TERROR IN BARRIO WESTSIDE

The Return to Reason almost-daily Daily Pilot is reporting that a man was hit over the head and robbed on Wallace Ave. near Center Street Monday night. LINK

According to the Pilot, the only description released by the CMPD was that the attackers were three males in their late teens or early 20's and had shaved heads.

Now, why do you suppose the CMPD didn't release a better description? What do you think? Maybe it was three Swedes? Three Chinese?

The CM PRESS will monitor CMPD press releases, and we'll let you know if better descriptions are eventually given.

In the meantime, the CMPD might look for their suspects at one of the "gang-prevention" charities in Barrio Westside.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

CM PRESS # 389


ENDANGERED ILLEGAL ALIEN ORDINANCE

COSTA ANA--2010--Return to no-Reason candidates now control the City Council.

One of the first things they do, after changing the name of the city to Costa Ana, to indicate that the city is the sister city of Santa Ana, is pass the Endangered Illegal Alien Ordinance to restore the illegal alien habitat on the Westside and make it a permanent Barrio

New No-Reason Councilmember Ms. Krazy Katlady, in an exclusive interview with the CM PRESS, said that in the recent past too many citizens of the old Costa Mesa had been polarizing the issue and they were helping destroy the habitat of illegal aliens in our city. "We're all stakeholders," said Ms. Katlady.

"Before these divisive citizen activists started improving the Westside," Ms. Katlady continued, "the area had many wonderful slums and teemed with illegal aliens. It was a wonderful and amazing sight. It was a real Barrio."

"Every time I drove to the Westside from my home in Mesa Verde, I felt a real thrill about the humanity of it. Now, there are too many citizens living on the Westside and fixing up their homes and demanding even more changes. They're gentrifying the area so it'll be like Mesa Verde. I call that mean, racist and divisive.

"Look, if citizens want good schools, they should just send their kids to private schools as many of my neighbors in Mesa Verde have done. And, if they don't want gangs and crime and graffiti and lower than they should be home prices, they should move out of Barrio Westside. These citizens should know their place and they should stay in their place and not be uppity.

"Before I became involved in this important issue, I spent most of my time rescuing stray cats. They're so cute and helpless. They're my children. They need me and give meaning to my otherwise meaningless yuppie life.

"Now I rescue illegal aliens and take care of them. They're so cute and helpless. Next to my cats, I love them best. They also help give meaning to my otherwise meaningless yuppie life.

"The illegal aliens look up to me so much, when I give them free bags of groceries from the trunk of my Bentley, that it brings tears of joy to my eyes. Why, they even have a pet name for me. They call me Gringa Tonto. Tee hee, tee hee. I think that means Beautiful White Princess.

"Yes, I am the reincarnation of an Indian Princess even though I have hateful blond hair and blue eyes. In my prior life as an Indian Princess I was known as Princess Buffalo Patootie.

"Anyway, in the past, in Barrio Westside, there used to be glorious lines of illegal aliens up and down Placentia Avenue soliciting work from drivers of cars stopped at traffic signals.

"And, the many amazing and wonderful charities had lines out the doors. Inside the charities, the nice Great White Mothers and Great White Fathers from Mesa Verde, the Eastside and Newport Beach were handing out free bags of groceries, rent checks, providing free medical and dental care, and giving out free clothes to illegal aliens.

"And, because of all the good work of the GWMs and GWFs, more and more needy illegal aliens came to Barrio Westside. There are many needy people on earth, and we wanted to bring them all to Barrio Westside where we could mother them and still be able to commute back to our own homes when the sun went down.

"Then, the terror struck. Citizens started demanding that the old City Council actually enforce our laws. I could see the fear on the faces of the illegal aliens as they hid in the shadows instead of being fine upstanding illegal alien citizens of Costa Ana.

"Why, no human is illegal. We're all citizens, even illegal aliens. It was a horrible and dark time. Homes were being painted, streets were being cleaned, graffiti was being removed, illegal aliens were being turned over to ICE for deportation. It was the worst kind of oppression.

"Now that we have a progressive majority on the City Council, we intend to restore the habitat of illegal aliens in Barrio Westside. We are planning on erecting permanent signs at 19th and Harbor and some other intersections, indicating the area is now officially known as: "BARRIO WESTSIDE."

"We are going to remove the invasive species--citizens--so the illegal alien habitat, Barrio Westside, can be protected and restored so that illegal alien citizens can live free of the terror of hearing an English word on the streets.

"The Eastside and Mesa Verde are the proper habitats for this invasive species, so they should all move there or they should move out of Costa Ana.

"Of course, members of the invasive species are welcome to visit Barrio Westside to support the roach coaches, the taco stands, the shoe stores the wedding dress stores and similar businesses, just as though they're tourists in Tijuana.

"They should just dress up in loud Bermuda shorts with clashing shirts and visit Barrio Westside and practice their Spanish. I mean, we want these touristas from other parts of Costa Ana to support the local economy of Barrio Westside.

"As part of the ordinance, we're going to ensure that no one builds any expensive homes on the Westside Bluffs or removes any slum buildings. This would erode our efforts to restore the illegal alien sanctuary."

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Monday, June 9, 2008

CM PRESS # 388











COSTA MESA ICE STATS FOR MAY 2008
Total Booked 468

Total Interviewed by ICE 113

Total Detainers Issued 44

% Interviewed by ICE to Bookings 24%
% Detainers to Bookings 9%

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COSTA MESA ICE STATS FOR MAY 2007
Total Booked 484

Total Interviewed by ICE 252

Total Detainers Issued 53

% Interviewed by ICE to Bookings 52%
% Detainers to Bookings 10%
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EL CAMINO CENTER UPDATE
As of this morning, the only building left standing on the El Camino Shopping Center site is the gas station.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

CM PRESS # 387


NEW JOB CENTER?
(Plan carefully, watch the details, have a bailout ready)

PROBLEMS WITH THE LAST JOB CENTER

1. It was on the Westside for far too long (17 years) and helped keep the area downscale. It was also part of the illegal alien "Barrio" infrastructure that some brown racists and their enablers wanted (and still want) the Westside to be turned into. They saw/see the Westside as an exclusively Latino city within a city.

2. Illegal aliens used the center. ID was not properly checked. The CM PRESS went undercover and stood in line with day workers one day. We wrote about this a couple of years ago. We could have written a phony ID card with crayon on a bubblegum wrapper saying we were Speedy Gonzalez and we would have been approved.

3. Approximately 50% of the employers were from Newport Beach (we checked the stats), yet only Costa Mesa citizens paid for it (in more ways than one).

4. It acted as a magnet for day workers from all over the county. Once they were here and saw how welcoming Costa Mesa was, many probably decided to move into the nearby slums. You may recall that a long time Daily Pilot employee was stabbed to death by an illegal alien who was living in the Shalimar slum and who presumably was finding work at the job center down the block.

5. Day workers still loitered on our streets and in parking lots looking for work.

6. It served as a communication center for illegal aliens who learned about non-profits in the city that would help them move to Costa Mesa, would help pay their rent, would help pay their utilities, would provide day care for their children, would give them free medical and dental care, would give them free bags of groceries, would give them free clothes.

IF A NEW JOB CENTER IS OPENED:

1. Put it at the end of East 17th Street near Newport Beach's Dover Shores. An attempt to put it there should be funny to watch as the NIMBYs who want the Westside to be a Barrio, scream and yell about not wanting their neighborhood being turned into a Barrio.

Remember, the old job center was on W. 17th and near the Newport Beach border and employers from that city, so E. 17th makes a lot of sense. It's the same street and just as close to Newport Beach employers.

2. Make sure that those who use it can prove they have a legal right to work in the U.S.

3. Pass the cost on to the workers and their employers, not the citizens of Costa Mesa.

4. Don't sign any long term leases on the property, so we can bail out if it doesn't work. And, if we do open a new job center, plan on rotating it around the city every couple of years so that no one neighborhood is unduly impacted.

5. This time, be sure the CMPD will actually enforce our laws and cite those who still seek work on our streets and from parking lots. And, if those cited can't show proof of citizenship, make sure the cops bring them to be interviewed by the ICE agent.

6. Don't let the job center undergo a mission creep to offer classes in English, etc.

7. Make sure the job center is a bare bones operation.

8. Be sure any new municipal codes are for a proper purpose, such as safety.

POSSIBLE LEGAL CHALLENGES

The legal challenges to cities and their municipal codes involving work solicitation and loitering are all based on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as it has been interpreted by case law.

Basically, under current law, you can't simply tell people that they can't stand around and look for work anyplace in a city.

If you want to tell people that they can't stand around and look for work on streets and in parking lots, then there needs to be a "reasonable time, place and manner," for them to find work. In this context, this usually means some sort of job center.

Costa Mesa should have no problem with the "reasonable time," and "reasonable manner" requirements, because the City has experience from the old job center in meeting these requirements.

However, the "reasonable place," requirement is more knotty and is where the legal fight (expect one) will likely take place.

Such a legal fight might look a little like this: A day worker, cited by the CMPD for looking for work on a street corner or parking lot, will sue the city saying that he tried the new job center, but that not enough employers are using it--which indicates that it is not a reasonable place. So, to get work, this worker has gone back to where he has a chance of being hired--a street corner or parking lot.

Before a new job center is opened, we hope the City Council will consider all of the above and will make sure the legal work is done correctly.

We also hope that Mayor Bever is not being stampeded into doing something rash as a result of the false praise being heaped on him by the Return to Reason crowd who want the Westside to become a permanent Latino Barrio.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Friday, June 6, 2008

CM PRESS # 386


THE STATE OF OUR CITY
(Turn away from the shoals Cap'n)

The ability of some people to see negative statistics about our city and simply shrug them off as though they're an aberration, or not see them as symptoms of a larger problem, and look at them as though they're just isolated problems not connected to anything else, never ceases to amaze me.

How much of a pattern must one see to understand that it is a pattern?

The latest negative stats involve our two high schools which have now been ranked down in the cellar with the worst high schools in the county.

Of 63 high schools in Orange County, Estancia was ranked at 51 and Costa Mesa at 58. And, those aren't golf scores, folks. The worst high school in the county was Century in Santa Ana, which came in dead last at 63.

The sad truth is that the problem with our high schools is not a school district or a school or a teacher problem. And it is not a problem that can be solved by concentrating on "fixing" the schools.

The low rankings are just symptoms of a larger disease. These rankings are to our city what a bump on the skin is to skin cancer. We have a city problem. That's what needs to be fixed. Fix it, and the bump will go away.

The fact is that schools are ranked good or bad based on how well or how poorly the students do on standardized tests. If a city sends students to the school who don't test well, then the school is ranked accordingly.

And, Costa Mesa is sending too many students to our schools who are doing poorly on tests.

So, what does this have to do with Costa Mesa, generally?

Just this. So long as Costa Mesa remains an ersatz illegal alien sanctuary city with a seeming wish to become a new Santa Ana, we are going to have failing schools, high crime, loitering day workers, lower than they should be home values, gangs, graffiti, abandoned shopping carts and all the badges of slum cities.

Instead of fixing these problems, our City Council continues to put bandaids on them. And, folks, we're running out of room for bandaids.

The patient is now covered with them. Abandoned shopping carts? Hey, put the bandaid of paying $40,000 per year to have a service pick them up. Graffiti? Why, pay more than $ 200,000 per year to cover it up. Gangs? Hire more and more gang police officers. And so it goes.
We're constantly covering up the problems instead of solving them.

And, the maddening thing about this is that Costa Mesa should be trending more like our traditional slightly prettier sister city of Newport Beach instead of like Santa Ana.

But, dear reader, you're sharp as a tack and you're saying, okay so why are we the way we are and what do we do about it if we don't like it?

The answer is simple.

Our City Council has to stop hiding in the tall grass and needs to start doing the things that have not been done by prior City Councils. It needs to cure the disease. And, specifically, what are some of the major things that have to be done to turn our city around?

--We have to break the stranglehold of the mostly out of town industrialists who are holding 60 plus acres of ocean close Westside Bluffs land captive to downscale industrial uses so that land can rise to its highest and best use for homes that will attract upwardly mobile people back to our city. As these high achievers put their kids in our schools, our school scores will go up.

--We have to break apart the over concentration of slum buildings and start meeting our state mandated affordable housing requirements by building modern affordable housing to replace our present sardine-can, barracks style, functionally obsolete deteriorating apartments--our version of the projects--that are over crowded breeding grounds for gangs and crime.

--We have to pull in all the welcome mats for illegal aliens. This means, in part, that we have to stop funding charities with tax payer funds that are acting as magnets for illegal aliens and which supply them with everything from free medical and dental care to free bags of groceries.

There's more that could be written, but they are mostly lesser included things of the above that a competent City Council will automatically do, if the Council keeps its collective hands on the rudder and starts steering our city away from the shoals that loom ever closer.

Doubt that we're heading for the shoals? Go back and read about our low High School scores. Do you need to feel the salt spray from the waves crashing against the rocks to understand that's where we're heading?

I've used some terminology of the sea for a purpose. Costa Mesa is a coastal community. We should never forget this, and we should use this geographic fact to help our city improve. Once again, that means we need homes on our close to the ocean Westside Bluffs--not factories.

Costa Mesa is not a landlocked inner city with little going for it, and we should stop acting as though it is.
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ARTISTS SPUR GENTRIFICATION IN THE BRONX (ARE YOU LISTENING, COSTA MESA?)

LINK

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MAYOR BEVER ON THE RIGHT TRACK WITH NEWPORT BEACH

The CM PRESS has long believed that Costa Mesa and Newport Beach should cooperate on just about everything.

We see the two cities as natural sister cities and we believe that almost every link between the two cities can provide benefits to both cities.

So, we were pleased to read that Costa Mesa's Mayor Bever and Newport's Mayor Selich are working together on a possible sports complex on the Westside Bluffs. LINK


Politics is a people business. Building relationships of trust and friendship (and, we're just assuming that this is what is developing between Mr. Bever and Mr. Selich) can only, in our specific situation in Costa Mesa, benefit the citizens of our city as we try to make Costa Mesa a nicer place to live.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.



CM PRESS # 833

NO WHITES ALLOWED IN SOME ENGLISH CITIES AFTER DARK We have that in the U.S. also, but few talk about it and many pretend it doesn't e...